While industry groups in the U.S. warn about the effects of rising regulatory costs on service levels at small regional airports, similar pressures have thrown Australia into an even more serious crisis, judging by the frantic warning calls emanating from the Regional Aviation Association of Australia.
Delta Connection carriers Atlantic Southeast, SkyWest and Chautauqua Airlines will fly another 45 fifty-seat regional jets under contract with Delta Air Lines under a series of deals that call for delivery of both Embraer and Bombardier airplanes through the end of next year. Wholly owned subsidiary Atlantic Southeast Airlines will convert options on 25 Bombardier CRJ200s to a firm order, while St.
BOMBARDIER CL-600-2B19, RAPID CITY, S.D., JAN. 18, 2004–After an ILS approach to 8,701-foot Runway 32 at Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP) at about 10:09 p.m., the Canadair Regional Jet’s left wingtip hit the runway while landing. The airplane, operated by Skywest Airlines as Flight 3855, received minor damage. The captain, copilot, flight attendant and 32 passengers were not injured.
The Bombardier CRJ line of regional jets added to its ample order totals recently when over the span of two weeks Mesa Air Group and SkyWest Airlines each signed new deals involving 50-, 70- and 86-seat jets. In Mesa’s case, the Phoenix-based carrier exercised options on a mix of 20 CRJ700s and -900s for delivery through next year.
Bombardier CL-600-2B19, Rapid City, S.D., Jan. 17, 2004–The NTSB determined that the left wingtip of the Skywest CRJ hit the runway because of the copilot’s failure to maintain control and the captain’s delay in initiating remedial action. Factors contributing to the accident were the low ceiling and low visibility due to fog, and the aircraft’s deviation from expected performance because of airframe icing.
United Airlines wasted no time implementing contingency plans to replace services provided by soon-to-be estranged partner Atlantic Coast Airlines after a district court injunction prompted Mesa Air Group to drop its takeover bid for the Sterling, Va.-based regional. Last month the bankrupt major airline recruited St.
SkyWest COO Brad Rich said last month that Delta Air Lines has “expressed its desire specifically to us” to sell one or both of its regional subsidiaries–Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Comair–to the St. George, Utah-based regional carrier. “I think it’s more than just an interest,” said Rich. “They need to generate some capital somewhere, and this is one way to do it.”
Notwithstanding recent complaints of poor operational performance by the nation’s biggest regional airlines, passenger boardings, revenue passenger miles (RPMs), load factors and average trip distance all broke records during last year’s third quarter, according to statistics compiled by Washington, D.C.-based The Velocity Group for the Regional Airline Association.
A new code-share contract signed last month by St. George, Utah-based SkyWest to fly from Milwaukee and Kansas City as Midwest Connect stands as the centerpiece of Midwest Airlines’ strategy to fend off a hostile buyout overture from AirTran Airways. The deal, scheduled to take effect in April, calls for SkyWest to fly 25 Bombardier CRJ200s, the first 15 arriving by this November.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) pilots on December 15 picketed the company’s newest flight crew base, at Los Angeles International Airport, to protest the lack of progress in their contract talks with management.